How much would I love to spend all day, every day getting to know our wonderfully delightful missionaries? They're truly the cream of the crop. Not a phone call or visit goes by but what they don't wish you a great day and ask if there's anything they can do for you.
Today we had a few minutes with Sister Toleafoa and Sister Astle. They're Spanish speaking sisters serving here in the Baton Rouge area. Sister Toleafoa is from Orem and goes home the day after our next transfer which is March 5. She's the youngest of 4 children, all of whom have served missions. When she gets home she'll travel with parents and siblings to Samoa and Australia where they have family. After that she'll be applying to BYU and looking for a job. Sister Astle is from St. George. Yay! Maybe I'll get to see her sometime down the road. She's been out for about 4 months, so we've decided that we need to stick together after Sister Toleafoa and Sister Olsen leave. Sister O leaves 2 days after Sister T. What a blessing these sisters will be to their families, friends, wards and communities when they complete their missions.
I've discovered that getting these endearing missionaries prepared to go home takes some doing. They get a large envelope with a letter of appreciation from Pres Wall acknowledging their contributions and leadership while on their missions. Also included is a history of their areas of service and positions in each one (Jr companion, Sr companion, trainer, district and/or zone leader, sister training leader), travel itinerary, CD (see below), their first letter to the President accepting their call and a little about themselves, and a few other items. Getting 2 packets ready took some time since it was a first. I hope my skills improve vastly before August when we send 21 missionaries home!
This is not a big deal to most people, but it was a big deal to me. Don't laugh but I actually managed to download letters then put them onto CD's for 2 missionaries who'll be completing their service next week. Pres. Wall asks the missionaries to write him almost every week. They actually email him then we put all their letters on CD's for them to take home. I'm sure that, if they worked faithfully and sincerely, they'll see tremendous growth in the time they were in the mission field.